At the end of this lesson, learners will have an understanding of various political ideologies and systems of government. Students will develop the necessary political literacy to study the LAA.

Essential Question:

2.2: How did the fur trade, European settlement, and the rise of the Métis Nation transform life for the peoples of the Northwest?

Historical Thinking Concepts:

1. Establish historical significance

2. Use primary source evidence

4. Analyze cause and consequence


Try to identify your students’ experience with various forms of government. Ask them if they have ever travelled to other countries. Some might say they have travelled to the United States. What system of government does it employ? Ask how their student council works. As you elicit information, create a flow chart of authority and decision making. Ask students how fair and equal other governments can be. Or, start off by asking how government in their school works. At home?


Have students in groups try to identify various forms of government, using the BBC Country Profiles. Give students 10 minutes to find as many different systems as they can. Have each group place two or three countries on a large world map in the classroom and have them explain which country corresponds with which system of government. At this point, students will have questions as about various forms of government.

Following a general investigation into a variety of forms of government, you can then focus on different forms within Canada (territorial, Indigenous, etc.). Have students investigate the rules of the Buffalo Hunt and how this structure, or form of government, might help to support democracy. Information regarding the governance of the Buffalo Hunt can be found here.

As the teacher, you can certainly explain these, or better yet, have students explore for themselves. Students can then create their own document listing these forms of government, including modern Métis forms of governance.


Have students look at the provisional government and the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia through the text of your choice. In addition, have students explore the “Sessional Journal of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia" via the Manitoba Archives. Ask students to identify the characteristics of the LAA in terms of governance.


Finally, in groups or as individuals, have students design their own system of government. This can be done on large sheets of chart paper or through electronic means. Alternatively, have students design new systems of government for their school. How should student council be restructured? Where should authority reside?